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Commencement ceremony
Sunday, June 15, 2014 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

No tickets are required

Gates open at 8:00 AM
Procession begins at 9:30 AM*

Ceremony begins at 10:00 AM
*Ceremony participants report at 8:30 AM. Please refer to the ceremony instruction links on the student and faculty pages for complete details.

Degrees will be conferred; however, no diplomas will be awarded at this ceremony. President Hennessy will address the assemblage as well as the Commencement speaker; the Cuthbertson, Gores, and Dinkelspiel awards will be presented. Please see the Diploma Ceremonies page for diploma location and distribution information.

Commencement Speaker

Husband and wife philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates will share the podium as the 2014 Commencement speakers at Stanford University.

Bill and Melinda Gates are the founders and co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As leaders of the world's largest private foundation and self-defined "impatient optimists," Bill and Melinda work to help all people lead healthy, productive lives by collaborating with partner organizations worldwide to tackle critical problems in three core areas. The Global Development Program works to help the world's poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. The Global Health Program aims to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries. And the United States Program works to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education.

"Sharing a mutual commitment to a better world, Bill and Melinda Gates have taken on some of the planet's toughest challenges. This boldness is an ethos that we also embody at Stanford, and one we seek to instill in our graduates," said Stanford President John Hennessy. "The Gates have transcended business success and are now taking aim at our most complex problems – extreme poverty, global health, and failures in our education system. Together, their shared vision has created one of the world's most influential philanthropic organizations. Our graduates will benefit immensely by hearing from these leaders and their dedication to improving society and the human condition."

"Bill and Melinda Gates' life work aligns with not only the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of Stanford, but also the Class of 2014's desire to use their abilities and resources to positively impact the world. Fundamentally transforming technology and humanitarianism, Bill and Melinda demonstrate the tremendous power of combining innovative solutions with a deep sense of compassion," said Senior Class Presidents Dhruv Amin, Mary Raddawi, Lawrence Nell and Maya Humes.

Live Webcast

A live webcast will be available on Sunday, June 15, beginning at 9:30 AM PDT.

Audio and Video Recordings

Recordings of the main Commencement ceremony will be available on Stanford iTunes and Stanford YouTube following the event. A link to those recordings will be added to the Commencement homepage when they are available.

General Ceremony and event Information

For the comfort of families and guests: The following suggestions may make the Commencement ceremony more enjoyable.

  • Dress for the heat; light clothing is advisable.
  • Hats, visors, and sun block are highly recommended.
  • Events may be located some distance from each other. Please consider wearing comfortable shoes.
  • Water will be available in the Main Quadrangle for Baccalaureate and in the Stadium for the Commencement ceremony, but you may wish to bring your own water as well.
  • Light refreshments will be available for purchase at the Stadium during Commencement.
  • Umbrellas will not be permitted, as they block the view of other guests.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the Stanford Stadium and all other indoor and outdoor spaces holding events during the weekend.

Disability Information

Please visit the Disability Resources section of this website or contact the Disability Access Office directly at (650) 725-0326 or For additional information, please visit the Office of Diversity & Access.

Security and Safety Advisory

All bags may be subject to search at all entrances to the Stadium during Commencement and at any Commencement Weekend events throughout the campus. In the interest of all guests, no large items, such as banners, posters, or umbrellas, amplification equipment, such as bullhorns or megaphones, will be allowed. No alcohol is permitted at any of the ceremonies.

Stroller Check Area

Due to safety regulations, no strollers are allowed in the seating areas of the Stadium. For your convenience, a stroller check area will be provided near Gate 3 of the Stadium.